Changing the ‘window’ in Irish Georgian Architecture

A letter in the Irish Times today from Patrick Guinness, President of the Irish Georgian Society, highlighted some of the issues that may be encountered while dating architecture.

Mr Guinness’ letter relates to a new government funding intiative trial (The Living City Initative), which aims to both improve the structures themselves, many of which, in spite of being classified as ‘protected structures’ are in poor repair, while encouraging owners to reside within the city.  The two trial cities are Limerick and Waterford.

He states “…while the Georgian period relates to the reigns of Kings George I-IV (1714-1830), a significant proportion of houses designed and built in the Georgian style of architecture in Ireland (including many structures in Limerick and Waterford) were constructed after 1830. Irish Georgian architecture could, therefore, more properly be considered to include buildings in the Georgian idiom constructed up until 1860.”

It can take some time for ‘fashions’ to travel.  Having studied architecture history in the UK, on my return to Ireland I found that, although styles of architecture in the Georgian and Victorian periods were reasonably faithfully adopted in Dublin and other Irish cities, it appears to have taken some time for the new style to be adopted each time.  I therefore tend to allow a window of 30-40 years.   I am happy to see that Mr Guinness feels a similar timescale is appropriate and I have been correct in my assumptions.

The letter in full can be accessed here:  http://www.irishtimes.com/debate/letters/widening-the-georgian-window-1.1323496#.UUBrRNIE95k.twitter

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